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Re: Fiberglass Pole care



My unpainted fiberglass crossboom is shedding after being outside for 7
years.  I suppose I should replace it someday before it breaks.

Several people have reported using thick wall PVC pipe as a crossboom.  That
would have the advantage of being much cheaper and easier to find than
fiberglass.

So I have a few questions for the experts:

1. Is PVC as good as fiberglass from the perspective of mechanical strength
and non-conductivity?

2. Has anybody used a SOLID 1.5 inch diameter fiberglass boom?  I think it
would be very resistant to cracking.

3. What are the best sources for fiberglass crossbooms?  My old crossboom is
from KLM which is no longer in business.

Max Gain Systems advertises the following on their web page:
http://www.mgs4u.com/fiberg.htm <http://www.mgs4u.com/fiberg.htm> 

8 foot, 1.5 inch diameter solid rod, weighs 11.04 pounds, $59

8 foot, 1.5 inch diameter tubing, 0.125 inch wall, weighs 3.6 pounds, $24
(too thin I think, but maybe usable as a short crossboom with U/L/S
antennas)

8 foot, 2 inch diameter tubing, 0.25 inch wall, weighs 11.2 pounds, $69

My Orbit-360 rotors will only accommodate 1.5 inch diameter, so I'm
considering getting the 1.5 inch diameter solid rod. It's no heavier than
the 2-inch tubing, and slightly cheaper.  This time I would paint it, and
hopefully it wouldn't crack when I tighten the antenna clamps.  I suspect my
cracking problem is largely caused by using 2-inch clamps on 1.5-inch
tubing.  They don't mate properly.  I should try to use 1.5-inch clamps on
my M2 CP yagis.

One final suggestion: ALWAYS wear gloves when handling a fiberglass boom
that is shedding.  The fiberglass shards can cause severe skin irritation.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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